Can You Get Pregnant after Ovulation?

Ovulation is a part of the female menstrual cycle. You can get pregnant after ovulation if you have had sexual intercourse that resulted in conception. While it is possible to get pregnant “any time” during your cycle your chances are the highest at the point of ovulation. Understanding the probabilities surrounding different time periods where you could get pregnant can help you understand the likelihood of this occurring. Lean how you can get pregnant after ovulation and how to calculate your most fertile days.

Can You Get Pregnant After Ovulation?

It is only possible to get pregnant for a short time after ovulation. After the egg has been released from the follicle there is a 12-48 hour period where the egg is available for fertilization from male sperm. Sperm can live for up to 5 days in a woman’s body because they are sustained by cervical mucus. There are often sperm waiting in the fallopian tubes to fertilize an egg just after it was released during ovulation.

Active and healthy sperm will take around 6 hours after ejaculation to swim from the cervix to the uterus and fallopian tube to meet an egg that is waiting to be fertilized. Therefore it is possible to become pregnant 1-2 days after ovulation.

Here are your odds of getting pregnant before and after ovulation (O= ovulation)

Odds of conceiving:

  • 5 days before O- 0 Percent
  • 4 days before O- 11 percent
  • 3 days before O- 15 percent
  • 2 days before O- 20 percent
  • 1 day before O- 26 percent
  • Day of O- 15 percent
  • 1 day after O- .09 percent
  • 2 days after O- .05 percent
  • 3 days after O- 0 percent

How to Calculate Your Ovulation and Fertile Days

1. Check the Signs

You can check your cervical mucus, test the cervix height, test you basal body temperature as well as do home tests to determine ovulation, check the following video for detailed information:

2. Calculate the Date

You may know the most likely time to conceive is about 14 days before you start your next period. So if you follow a regular 28 day cycle, ovulation will be around day 14. Those with a regular 34 day cycle will ovulate around day 20. Those that have a 24 day cycle may ovulate as early as day 10.

Your Fertile Days

During your ovulation time an egg will be available for fertilization for 12-24 hours. Sperm can live in your body for 3-5 days so if the egg is available for one day your most fertile time will still be considered 5-7 days long.

You can click the following link to calculate your most fertile days according to your period cycle:

Can You Ovulate Twice in One Cycle?

There will only be one fertile period with every menstrual cycle when FSH hormones rise and the follicles in the ovaries release an egg. Ovulation is triggered by a specific blend of hormones that inform your body it is time to move through the menstrual cycle, and once this occurs there is only a 24 hour period when your hormones peak. After ovulation occurs the hormone levels decline and your body will go through a feedback cycle that causes menstruation.

It is possible for eggs to be released from two follicles in this period, which can result in fraternal twins. Between 1-3 percent of all births are fraternal twins. It is now believed that 1 in 8 pregnancies are caused by early fertilization of more than one egg but less than half of these second embryos survive for more than a few weeks following ovulation. If the embryo does not survive the body will reabsorb this tissue.

What Happens After Ovulation?

If You Are Pregnant

If the egg is fertilized by sperm it will create a zygote which will take around 5 days to travel from the fallopian tube to the uterus. During this time the cells will divide to form a blastocyst. Around 8-10 days after fertilization this blastocyst will implant in the uterine wall.

Before the blastocyst implants there is very little change in the body. After implantation you may notice spotting or bleeding that some mistake for a period. The blastocyst will then begin to grow into an embryo which will cause hormones to release that will seal the cervix with a mucus plug and thicken the endometrium.

If You Are not Pregnant

Within 48 hours the egg will move into the fallopian tubes and disintegrate where it will be reabsorbed. The corpus luteum will produce progesterone for 12-14 days which will eventually drop and cut off blood flowing to the uterine lining. As this tissue is deprived of oxygen it will get thick and seep into the vagina, causing your period.

After ovulation and before menstruation your body temperature will be around 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than normal. Your cervical mucus will also become less slippery and become more creamy or sticky in consistency.

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